Lubaina Himid wins $200k art prize

Lubaina Himid, Six Tailors, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 197 x 271 cms.. © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London

Lubaina Himid has won the $200,000 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize. The award also includes exhibitions at The Contemporary in Austin and The FLAG Art Foundation in New York, both of which will open in 2024.

Born in Zanzibar and moving to the UK when she was four, Himid was instrumental in the Black Arts Movement in Britain in the 1970s. While also a respected teacher, she went on to gain greater recognition when she won the Turner Prize in 2017, the first person aged over 50 to do so following a change in the prize’s rules.

This latest accolade was awarded by a jury including Sharon Maidenberg, the director of The Contemporary Austin; Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Pilar Tompkins Rivas, chief curator at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles; Michelle White, Senior Curator at the Menil Collection, Houston and Zoé Whitley, director of the Chisenhale Gallery, London; along with institutional advisor Jonathan Rider, director at The FLAG Art Foundation. 

‘The most shocking thing, in a way, is that it’s an American prize,’ Himid reacted in an interview. ‘As a British artist, you don’t expect to win an American prize. I know people say it all the time when they win things, but I really am honoured.’

The now-biennial award was launched in 2016 with Rodney McMillian as the winner. Subsequent winners have been Nicole Eisenman and Tarek Atoui.

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